Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Category Archives: Photo Gallery: They Had Faces Then

Happy Valentine’s Day! Grab Your Sweetie—And One of These Cards!

Happy Valentine’s Day and lots of love to my classic film family of friends! Still looking for that perfect card, or maybe you—gasp—you forgot the big day is today? Feel free to grab one of these, created just for you. And whether you’re still searching for love or are lucky enough to have found it, I …

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Behind the Scenes of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and THE BISHOP’S WIFE!

You’ve watched the films a million times, you’ve laughed, you’ve cried… wanna go behind the scenes? Let’s sneak a peek backstage at It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife! Oh and need some help toweling off, Jimmy? We’re right here! That’s not your run-of-the-mill fake movie snow Jimmy’s dabbing away during the 90-plus-degree shoot in mid-July—that’s state-of-the-art …

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Remembering Billy Chapin, Who Saw Us Through THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

More than half a century after shielding his little sister through the most monstrous night of their lives, John Harper left the world on her birthday. Billy Chapin—who, as John, all but carried The Night of the Hunter on his slight shoulders—died on December 2, the day Sally Jane Bruce, who played Pearl, turned 68. From the …

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TINTYPE TUESDAY: The Ever-Elegant Boris Karloff—And His Secret Ingredient for Guacamole

Welcome to another edition of TINTYPE TUESDAY! Regular readers may recall just how very un-monstrous Boris Karloff was offscreen, visiting children’s hospitals to play Santa Claus and read bedtime stories—and even charming the little girl who played Maria in Frankenstein while bolted into full makeup. But can we talk for a minute about how insanely elegant he …

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Auntie Joan (Crawford) Explains It All for You!

Don’t say nothin’ bad about my Joanie. Not long ago, in need of a tonic on a stifling summer day, I reread the closest thing we have to her autobiography, the wildly entertaining Joan Crawford: My Way of Life. On the cover, firmly gripping her pair of poodles, she looks like a terrified hostage trying …

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When Richard Widmark Hugs You, You Stay Hugged

Back in the spring of 2001, the Walter Reade Theatre had a retrospective of Richard Widmark films, with a special—to put it mildly—appearance by the man himself, who was then 86. I had loved Richard Widmark since I was a kid, when I saw him in Don’t Bother to Knock. He seemed like a bit of a …

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TINTYPE TUESDAY: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and… Tallulah Bankhead?

Welcome to another edition of TINTYPE TUESDAY! Ah, April—when our hearts and minds turn to baseball! Which of course brings us to Tallulah Bankhead. Wait, what? Oh yes, people! We all know Tallulah was a colorful character (to put it mildly, which she never would) and one-woman pithy-quote machine. (“I’m as pure as the driven slush.”) …

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TINTYPE TUESDAY: Classic Film Stars Let Their Freckles Fly Free!

Welcome to another edition of TINTYPE TUESDAY! In April 1976, George Hurrell wrote to Joan Crawford, his friend of almost half a century, asking her to say a few words for a book about his work. With it, he sent a 1930 photograph, his favorite of the thousands they’d shot in 33 sessions together. “I’ve always …

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TINTYPE TUESDAY: Dan Duryea — Gardener and Cub Scout Leader!

Welcome to another edition of TINTYPE TUESDAY! A few years ago, between films of a double feature at the Film Forum in New York (Black Angel and Criss Cross), this old guy sitting next to me muttered, to no one in particular, “I wonder if that was really Dan Duryea playing the piano.” And I …

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The Academy Strikes Again: The 2016 Oscar Memorial Snubs

Last night, according to the official Academy Awards website, “the Oscars took time to honor the many talents we lost during the previous year, the lives they touched and the art they made or made possible…” Yes but they never take quite enough time, do they? I mean, it’s entirely up to them how many …

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